Over 130 attended which I thought was quite impressive on a Sunday evening. There were several supporting speakers including Councillor Bob Bibby, the Leader of Bury Council, myself and also Azmat Husain who is Vice Chairman of the North West Area Conservative Muslim Forum
Sunday, after attending church at St. Anne’s in the morning Sue and I took CeeCee down to the Bury Show and just as last year we got soaked with rain on the way back to the car.
Since my return from Northern Ireland I have resumed my usual pattern of meetings and campaigning. I have spent alot of time this week speaking to voters “on the doorstep” and it is clear that the revelations over M.P.’s expenses has resulted in widespread disillusionment with politics and politicians. I always had to explain that as a Prospective M.P. I receive no public money whatsoever and I have said unequivocally that my main home will always be here in Bury and I will not change the designation of it simply to maximise my expenses claims. Further I have said that I will never claim for furniture or household goods and I will not make any claims for food. Also unlike so many current M.P.’s I will not use taxpayers money to pay for leaflets. At present M.P.’s can claim up to £10,000 each year on what is called a Communications Allowance and I have stated that I will never make any claim on that Allowance. Hopefully we can start to rebuild the trust and confidence in politicians.
On Wednesday I attended a meeting of Bury Council which was the first under the new Mayor Councillor Sheila Magnall and it soon became clear that the new Mayor will be a very firm but fair referee of business during Council meetings.
Yesterday I attended a coffee morning to raise funds for the Party in Bury North
Our first visit yeaterday was to Stormont, the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. We had a private meeting with the First Minister Peter Robinson who then took us on a tour of the building.
In the afternoon we had meetings with an SDLP Candidate from the European Elections, a security expert, the Conservatives Area Campaign Director and an officer from the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
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One of the questions I am most often asked is
“When exactly will the next General Election be?”
Of course, the answer that I usually give is that “I don’t know” because it is up to the Prime Minister when he wishes to call the General Election. Under the law a General Election has to be held once every five years and as the last one was in 2005 the last date for the next one is 3rd June 2010.
I have added a new page to my blog called ‘General Election Countdown’ which contains a ‘widget’ ( a little computer programme that I downloaded – please do not think that I created it myself!) which automatically counts down the time to the last possible day for the next General Election.
Sue and I walked over to Greenmount Primary School today where they were holding their summer fair. Fortunately the weather was warm, mainly sunny and dry and the event was well attended.
Last night we attended a dinner in Manchester at which the speaker was the Director of The Freedom Association Simon Richards. He gave a most entertaining and thought provoking speech on the current malaise in British politics and considered some of the ways in which politics might be reinvigorated by returning power to the people.
After a lengthy counting procedure last night held at the town’s Castle Leisure Centre the results of the European Election in the Borough of Bury were announced just before midnight.
The full result was
Liberal Democrat 5740
English Democrat 1529
Socialist Labour Party 680
Christian Party 678
No2EU:Yes to democracy 647
Jury Team 249
Pro democracy: libertas.eu 198
Francis Apaloo ( independent) 100
There were 247 votes rejected for various reasons.
So there was a Conservative majority in Bury of 4,921. The turnout was considerably lower than when these elections were last held in 2004. The turnout then was 47.8% whereas on Thursday the turnout was 34.2%. Other than a general disenchantment with politics and politicians I think this reduction in turnout can also be attributed to the fact that in 2004 the European elections coincided with the local elections in Bury when because of boundary changes all 51 seats were up for election and the election was conducted solely by postal voting.
Across the North West three Conservative M.E.P.’s were elected, two for Labour and one each for UKIP, Liberal Democrats and BNP